Tonight, at Mayor Bhalla's request, the City Council will be voting on second reading to give him the authority to use eminent domain to acquire the former Union Dry Dock site. Our understanding is that this will give the mayor leverage in his ongoing discussions with NJ Transit and Governor Murphy’s office. I plan to support the mayor’s recommendation and vote 'yes' tonight and based upon the feedback I am receiving from my colleagues, I expect that it will be approved. That said it is always helpful when neighbors come to the meeting (7pm) and make their voice and their views heard on such an important issue as this. More voices are always better. If you cannot make the meeting, you can watch it on Facebook live or afterwards online.
For those who are not supportive of this action, please know that I do not take the concept of eminent domain lightly and would only consider it in situations that are for the public good. And I take some comfort in the fact that any condemnation requires that the acquiror pay a fair market price for the property. In this scenario not only do I believe in preserving Hoboken's waterfront for the public use, but I also believe that there is no scenario where NYWW would cease its operations given the importance of ferry operations to the area and to NJ Transit and identified alternative locations where NYWW could run its operations. Rather I think a bigger risk is that we will end up where we were in early 2018 when NJ Transit threatened to take the property from us if we used eminent domain and we potentially lose our ability to ensure the best possible access and enjoyment for our community.